Hewlett-Packard HP-28S Handheld Electronic Calculator

Hewlett-Packard launched this handheld graphing calculator a year after its HP-28C and the two devices are quite similar. The HP-28S had a larger memory, operated more rapidly, and had a subdirectory structure for variables. The case, keyboards, and display are as described for 1999.0291.01. Text above the display reads: hp HEWLETT (/) PACKARD. It also reads: 28S. Further text reads: ADVANCED (/) SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR. Molded plastic on the back reads: [copyright mark] HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. 1986 (/) MADE IN U.S.A. 2801A04666. The first four digits of the serial number indicate that the calculator was made in the first week of 1988.
Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP-28S at the January 1988, meeting of the American Mathematical Society, held in Atlanta, Georgia. This meeting began the centennial celebrations of the AMS. Members attending the banquet could purchase an HP-28S with their banquet ticket for an extra charge of $60 (the banquet itself cost $30, the calculator alone $235. A December 1988, article gives the price of the calculator as $165 to $239). Professor Andrew Gleason of Harvard University acquired this calculator at that banquet. A sticker on the cover of the calculator reads: AMERICAN MATHEMATICS (/) 100 (/) YEARS (/) 1888-1988.
A spiral-bound manual received with the calculator has title Hewlett-Packard Advanced Scientific Calculator Reference Manual HP-28S. It is dated October 1987.
The HP-28S sold into 1992.
W.A.C. Mier-Jedrzejowicz, A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers , Tustin, California: Wilson/Burnett Publishing, 1997, pp. 84–85, 88, 133.
David G. Hicks, The Museum of HP Calculators, http://www.hpmuseum.org/, accessed July, 2014.
Accession file.
P. A. Kidwell, A. Ackerberg-Hastings and D. L. Roberts, Tools of American Mathematics Teaching, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, esp. pp. 307-308.
M. Muciño, “Buyer’s Guide to Graphics Calculators,” Mathematics Teacher, vol. 81 #9, December 1988, pp. 705, 707-708.
Ivars Peterson, “Mathematics: Calculus in the Palm of Your Hand,” Science News, vol. 133 #4, January 23, 1988, p. 62.
Currently not on view
date made
Hewlett-Packard Company
place made
United States: Oregon, Corvallis
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
glass (overall material)
paper (overall material)
calculator: 1.5 cm x 9.4 cm x 15.9 cm; 19/32 in x 3 11/16 in x 6 1/4 in
overall: 3.6 cm x 15.5 cm x 21 cm; 1 13/32 in x 6 3/32 in x 8 9/32 in
manual: 2.3 cm x 15.5 cm x 21 cm; 29/32 in x 6 3/32 in x 8 9/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Jean Berko Gleason
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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